“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” – Ephesians 6:17-18
The Apostle Paul said it best: “I don’t understand myself. I want to do what is right but I do not do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15). Can you relate? It seems so easy to fall into temptation. We all do it; so how do we overcome it?
The best way to fight temptation is the same way that Jesus did – with Truth. When Satan tempted Jesus, He responded by quoting Scripture. Again and again, Satan threw out a great prize and each time Jesus replied with Truth from God’s Word. With every temptation, such as food to satisfy His hunger, incredible power, and influence, and even physical safety from harm – Jesus responded by quoting God’s Word.
Paul echoes this idea and tells us to pick up the sword of the Spirit, the word of God. A sword, of course, does us no good in a battle if we keep it in its sheath, strapped to our side. We actually have to use it. So how can we respond when we’re faced with temptation? Follow Jesus’ example and begin by knowing God’s Word.
Perhaps you are thinking right now, “Bryant, that makes a lot of sense, but I’m just not able to memorize things.” Let me offer you some advice. Instead of memorizing the exact words, capture the spirit of the passage. There are two reasons for this: First, worrying over the exact words will trip you up and could create a mental block to your learning. You may even become so frustrated that you give up. Secondly, it’s the message that God is communicating through His Word that He uses to help us in that critical moment. When you follow Jesus’ example by knowing the Truth, you’ll have a much easier time overcoming your own temptations.